If you’ve already built a lengthy career, in any field or many, consider the many steps that got you there. And if you’re just starting out, think about all that you’d like to know about the potential roads ahead.
Now if only the two groups of you would meet and discuss your experiences, we all know the benefit would be enormous.
What is mentoring?
It’s a systematic process of personal or professional growth when through confidential conversation; a more experienced person who will help, support or develop another less experienced person. This can be an informal process whereby a college grad meets with a younger teen each week to discuss life, or it can be facilitated by an HR department for a successful executive and structured rigorously.
Mentoring is something too few people engage in considering the typically large return. Research shows, that for some young adults, especially those that may be at-risk for falling off track are 130% more likely to hold leadership positions in the future if they get a mentor.
If you want a mentor, here are some tips on what to do to try to get one:
Know what you want out of the relationship.
Don’t wing this in any way. This is someone’s time you are asking for and always be aware of that. Know what it is you want to achieve – choose 1 or 2 skills you want to work on and be specific such as “I want to grow my network by 10 people in the tech industry” or “I want to know how to better manage my team without them hating me.”
Think of how you can actively create value for the mentor in the relationship.
What can you offer? Even if it is solely a diverse way of thinking, it’s enough – but you want to identify and proactively engage with it. Do you have an expertise in something that might be helpful to them?
Identify the right person.
This is obvious, but may take a while.
If you’re more experienced, or even more experienced at life than someone younger, consider being a mentor.
Being a mentor can benefit you in ways you likely haven’t imagined. It can open your mind to new ideas and different ways of thinking. It can introduce you to people who may introduce you to other people. You’ll likely gain an understanding of people in general, which helps you in most aspects of most any job in most any company.
There are many places and ways to find the right mentor for you, or to be a mentor.
Only a few are listed here and remember, finding a mentor will depend on your area:
- The National Mentoring Partnership
- Million Women Mentors
- Big Brother Big Sister
- SCORE Mentors for Small Business
Top photo: Bigstock